Ceiling Fans Can Help You Feel Cooler: Choose Wisely

June 30, 2014
Ross and Witmer

Ceiling fans can give your home comfort a big boost during North Carolina’s sweltering summers. By working in tandem with your air conditioner, fans help reduce your A/C’s cooling load. But the way they work may surprise you.

Fans don’t actually cool rooms; they cool people. Although they don’t lower room temperatures, fans create a wind-chill effect that makes you feel cooler. This allows you to increase the thermostat setting up to 4 degrees so that your A/C doesn’t have to work as hard to deliver the same comfort level.

To enjoy the maximum benefit of your ceiling fans, use these five tips:

  1. Choose fans wisely. Other circulating fans include tabletop, floor and wall-mounted models. Of those choices, ceiling fans cool most effectively because of the downdraft they create.
  2. Size fans appropriately. The larger the room to be cooled, the larger the fan. A 36- or 44-inch diameter fan is suitable for rooms that are 225 square feet, but a 52-inch fan works better in larger rooms. If your room is longer than 18 feet, multiple fans work best.
  3. Look for the efficiency logo. The federal Energy Star program rates home appliances, such as ceiling fans, for efficiency. The program awards the Energy Star logo to energy-efficient appliances with demonstrated energy savings and reliable performance. If you purchase Energy Star certified ceiling fans, you’ll save money over models without the logo.
  4. Turn off fans when not in use. Fans are only effective if a room is occupied, so be sure to turn off fans in unoccupied rooms to save energy. Install fans in all rooms where you want to increase comfort.
  5. Install fans properly. Improper wiring or mounting is a disaster waiting to happen, jeopardizing the proper operation of your fans as well as your safety. Choosing the proper outlet box, mounting fans and balancing them are tasks best left to a reputable contractor.

In the Charlotte area, including Mecklenburg, Gaston and Union, Ross & Witmer is your go-to home comfort contractor. Our licensed, bonded, insured and NATE-certified technicians can answer all of your cooling questions and suggest ways you can increase your comfort system’s efficiency.

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